COLUMBIA — A Clemson’s men track athlete ran in five indoor meets after his eligibility was complete, and a women’s track team member received impermissible school expenses from former program director Lawrence Johnson while training for a foreign Olympic team.
The violations were outlined in the school’s report sent to the NCAA last month. The report was obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act Request. Other violations include a Clemson runner receiving shoes from a volunteer assistant and a prospect getting bottled water on a recruiting visit last fall. Names of the athletes were redacted in the documents.
The school’s letter to the NCAA said Johnson did not promote “an atmosphere of compliance” in the men’s and women’s track programs. He was resigned as director on Jan. 8. Johnson did not return emails left by the AP.
School spokeswoman Libby Kehn said athletic director Dan Radakovich and other school representatives would not comment on the violations until the NCAA completes its investigation.
Clemson blacked-out the names of those athletes involved in the report released to the AP. Clemson classified the violations as secondary in nature, the less serious category of NCAA transgressions.
The school told the NCAA it received an anonymous letter last September about track and field violations and hired an outside law firm – Bond, Schnoeneck & King – to conduct an independent review of the program.
The review was completed Jan. 8, the same day as Johnson’s resignation.
The inquiry found Clemson used the ineligible athlete during the 2012 indoor season, including at the Atlantic Coast Conference championships. The school said as punishment, it would dock itself one track scholarship for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. It also agreed to pay a $2,500 fine and revamp some procedures for tracking an athlete’s eligibility.
A second violation involved an athlete who competed for a foreign Olympic team in London, yet received funds from Johnson while training with her college teammates competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., last year. The school said it repaid the cost of the transportation expenses, $175.60, to a Clemson area children’s shelter. The athlete missed the first two indoor meets of the season before here eligibility was restored by the NCAA.
Another member of the women’s team was found to have received a pair of Adidas running shoes, valued at $95, from volunteer assistant Kristi Castlin. The athlete was declared ineligible by the school and has not practiced with the team since the spring semester began.
All the violations, Clemson associate athletic director compliance services Stephanie Ellison wrote the NCAA, show that Johnson “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within his men’s and women’s track and field program.”
As a result, Ellison continued in the letter, “Johnson is no longer employed by the institution.”